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Walk on the Moon (Naruto SI)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by SixPerfections, Apr 6, 2018.

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  1. SixPerfections

    SixPerfections Know what you're doing yet?

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    Hah, yeah. Rei has never been about the impulse control and resisting temptation to do something that will help her get stronger. You're right on the money. In this case she'll probably just have to figure out a way to use it without it blowing up in her face.

    Quite right :p. That is indeed the best solution to that dilemma.

    The problem with being known as having super thief powers no one can stop is that suddenly every major power wants to control you and/or kill you. Being known as a badass prodigy is one thing. People thinking that you (or your summons, same difference) might be able to sneak in anywhere no matter how secure the location suddenly makes you Too Dangerous To Leave Alone. Tl;dr she'd better not be cavalier about showing off what she just learned her summons could do for her.
     
    BookZone, Shaper47, IvanDead and 4 others like this.
  2. roseknight

    roseknight Getting out there.

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    You do realize I was being sarcastic right? There were multiple points of failure that could get her in that post.
     
  3. Hanada

    Hanada Making the rounds.

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    Best thing will be stealing materials that
    Can't be found out like training methods old wisdom
    Things that can be chalked of her being "Genius"
     
  4. varoksa

    varoksa Getting sticky.

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    I think rather than the ability to steal things a high class nin whose clan specializes in mind reading is the real terror, i guess canonically they never really had a strong ninja or something but telepathy / psionics has one of the highest potentials to be terrifying in sci-fi.
     
    PlasticSoldier likes this.
  5. Fonteius

    Fonteius [Empty Title]

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    Well, if you go for canon, Rei does have a guaranteed access to the Scroll of Seals (Naruto episode 1), unless the Hokage got senile from this time to canon start, or just wanted Naruto to have a look into highly dangerous and possibly suicidal Jutsu that got sealed either by how inhumane they are or because you need to have Kage levels of chakra to even think about trying, I mean, "resurrecting" the dead is pretty war crime(ish) and any other of Tobimaru Jutsu are insane.

    Now, the problem with that is that if she goes missing nin, her rank would go from option 1 : "oh a missing nin with clan techniques, if you see her bring her alive (like any other missing nin around) and maybe send a few Hunter nin or her own clan members, to option 2 : "torture any information about the scroll and then kill during a 'capture' attempt" and send ANBU, Elite Jonin and anything that moves towards her, Kabuto got the resurrection jutsu and basically started a war against the world...., I fear for any other jutsu in that scroll.

    The only "reasonable" way for the Rats to steal jutsu for Rei would be from old clans archives and manage a way to copy/paste incredibly fast, or wait until she is a Genin and try to send a few to different villages and just not care. (That is, if the Rats are friendly enough with her to go for a long distance/time mission).

    With Rei's personality I don't think she will ponder a lot about the problem and go for the high risk, fast and great reward of stealing from Konoha, the only "safe" target I can see are the Uchiha, that is if the Rats can find their secret "temple" or the real library.

    Oh, and I don't think the Yamanaka would let any child that is not even a Genin get a look into their Jutsu archives, no matter how much of a prodigy she is, and they should recognize any of the jutsu there if she attempts to take a peek inside.

    Taking all into consideration I can't see Rei trying for the slow method of rising ranks and showing more jutsu little by little, if she keeps going like this she will make a few mistakes along the way (like talking to Neji about his situation), maybe no one will think much about it, but the Hokage and Nao should notice at the first sign of any Jutsu she "shouldn't know", by the way I am getting scared about Nao being Orochimaru's agent (or himself) doing secret dealings to prepare for the invasion :s, or even Danzo's recruiter from the Academy.
     
    IvanDead, ItsComplicated and Ergoan like this.
  6. TheAlec

    TheAlec Not too sore, are you?

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    A pretty amusing chapter if a bit short. Will Rei have the discipline to just return this jutsu without trying to learn it? It seems flashy enough that people would notice her training with it.

    I always find it odd when people put genin level elemental jutsu into their fanfics when elemental transformation is supposed to be a chunin level skill. That and chakra is supposed to be a ninja's ammunition. Why would you encourage your ninja to waste their ammunition on basic camp chores?
     
    ItsComplicated and Ergoan like this.
  7. varoksa

    varoksa Getting sticky.

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    I cant wait till we start getting Might Guy scenes, hes just such a genuine nice guy he would probably be able to get through Reis shells with the power of youth.

    Im assuming he will be her trainer here obviously because two taijutsu specialist geniuses in a genin team, who else will it be?
     
    Grigori likes this.
  8. Tavarokk

    Tavarokk Pursuer of perversion

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    Presumably because one doesn't need chakra nature transformation skills to perform low-rank elemental ninjutsu, and you're underestimating the importance of utility tricks when it comes to moving quickly and maintaining peak combat ability out in the field.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  9. Izicata

    Izicata AE ALTADOON GHARTOK PADHOME

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    Please do not end scenes with a rage comic meme. This scene is trying to set up some tension as a lead-in to the next arc, and it was succeeding until you ended it on a terrible joke and drained all the tension out of the cliffhanger. I really liked the rest of the update, but ending it on a cheap gag kinda ruined it.
     
    Ergoan and Munashe like this.
  10. Lazurman

    Lazurman Drunk Snek

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    I dunno, accidentally having stolen from Magical Ninja Dictator God Guy who you are already on poor terms with seems like a great time to shriek in absolute U P S E T.
     
  11. Threadmarks: Chapter 45
    SixPerfections

    SixPerfections Know what you're doing yet?

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    A/N: New chapter on time, as promised. Enjoy!


    000

    Chapter 45


    000

    It would seem odd for a girl who had yet to even graduate from the academy, but to Rei the feeling of existential dread and the peculiar sensation of having all of her hopes and dreams (and her life) leaning precariously on a knife's edge about to tumble into the black of oblivion had become something she was quite familiar with. Never pleasant mind you, far from it in fact, but a feeling she was familiar with just the same.

    And while Rei intellectually knew that she had some flaws, she also knew her strengths, which she objectively saw as being many in number and broad in scope. Keeping her head in a crisis and acting decisively at a moment's notice came very easily to her, just to name an example. After a few moments of completely freaking out Rei realized she was wasting time in what was potentially an extremely dangerous situation. The thought sobered her up near instantaneously and precisely in that moment she began to act.

    Moving so fast that she accidentally knocked over a few items not worth worrying about Rei practically flew to the small desk in her room. Scrambling madly she drew out a blank piece of paper and began furiously copying word for word from the Sarutobi clan scroll, her haste making her typically impeccable and even beautiful handwriting into barely legible chicken scratch. When she had time later she'd copy it over again in English, complete with random upside down and deformed letters, a few backwards words, impossible to decipher slang, a few phrases in Spanish, a random mix of cursive and print, and anything else she could think of to make it impossible for anyone to figure out anything no matter how many samples of her writing they managed to get their hands on. At the moment though time was of the essence, but even then some small part of her mind managed to feel mildly distressed that writing in kanji and hiragana now felt more natural to her than writing anything in English.

    “Worm,” she began as she got herself into the rhythm of copying the scroll character by character without having to think about it too much. “Were you spotted?”

    Worm, for his part, tilted his head as if confused by the sudden frantic flurry of activity. “When? And what's going on? Did you-”

    “Did anyone detect you when you took this scroll, yes or no?!” Rei said cutting him off, her voice angry, sharp and urgent.

    Worm was quiet for a moment, before making a huffing sound and whipping his head upward in displeasure. “It is the most basic tenet of thieving to get in and out without being detected. Just what do you take me for? I may not be an especially talented thief but I'm not incompetent either.”

    “So did anyone...?”

    “Of course no one saw me take that scroll,” Worm said, his voice tinged with petulance and affronted pride.

    Rei felt her chest and shoulders release some of their tension as she let out a small breath of relief. This situation wasn't a disaster then, not yet. For a moment Rei contemplated not returning the scroll at all before dismissing it entirely. It would be challenging to get away with using this jutsu without consequence as it was, but if a scroll of that identical jutsu was also found to be missing and suddenly she was found using that jutsu or something remarkably like it... well, it wouldn't take a genius to point the finger at the most likely culprit. No. Her best bet was to have Worm return the scroll and pray to the Kami that no one had noticed it's absence in the interim. Or perhaps... if in fact someone had noticed it missing by now, it might be best to leave it in another location in the library. If that was the case then there was a good chance the scroll would simply be assumed to misplaced as opposed to stolen when it was eventually found. On the other hand maybe that approach would be worse if someone decided to investigate who had misplaced the scroll in the first place? Shit. She was confident in her quick decision making skills, but that didn't mean thinking every possibility through in mere moments was in any way easy to do.

    A few seconds later Rei finished copying everything on the scroll. She immediately re-rolled the original quickly and carefully. Once she was satisfied that it passed visual inspection she turned to Worm and gave him her most serious, piercing look.

    “I need you to take this scroll and put it back exactly where and how you found it without being seen. I need you to do this for me right now without arguing. You've potentially gotten me in some serious trouble here and the longer we delay the more dangerous this becomes for me. I promise I'll explain everything afterwards but I need you to do this. Now.”

    Worm looked at her for a few seconds with a peculiar look in his little black eyes, and Rei was relieved to get the feeling that Worm understood that for whatever reason she was now in danger even if he didn't seem to fully understand why or how. Worm was a Rat through and through and first and foremost Rats looked after their own. With a sharp nod of his head Worm took the scroll in his prehensile tail and in the space of a heartbeat was already out her window, racing as fast as he could back to where he had found the scroll in the first place.

    After he was gone Rei sat back in her chair and closed her eyes, crossing her arms and tilting her head backwards as her mind began to analyze and pick through the ramifications and implications of what had just happened. There would be consequences to this, she knew. She could practically feel it in her bones. No matter if Worm managed to replace the scroll with no one the wiser or not this event had changed the game. As her mind began to furiously work through the possibilities Rei could feel something else begin to grow inside of her alongside her apprehension and dread... a whisper-thin kernel of excitement and, dare she say it, perhaps a little bit of hope.

    000

    It was about thirty minutes later when Worm returned. He spoke quickly and without prompting as soon as he was back inside. “It's done. I was not seen, and it did not seem like anyone realized anything had gone missing. At least it did not seem to me like anyone in the building was acting out of the ordinary.”

    Rei swallowed thickly and nodded, giving the Rat a small smile. “Good. Good. Thank you,” she said. It now seemed very likely to her that she would be able to avoid discovery. Without a doubt that knowledge made her breathe a little easier.

    “What was that all about?” asked Worm quietly before jumping up on her desk. “What was the drama all about?”

    Rei gave him a very dry look before explaining the situation to him. How different libraries belonged to different clans and stealing from them was an extremely serious crime. How if anyone had spotted a Rat stealing it would one hundred percent be blamed on her since she was the only Rat summoner anyone knew of. Worm seemed to take it all in, an uncomprehending expression on his face.

    “Okay. I mean I get it, but I don't. Aren't all you Konoha people supposed to be like one Family? Why get so bent out of shape if someone borrows a scroll or a book for a bit?”

    Rei thought for a minute about how to explain it. “It's not so much that Konoha is one big Family like the Rats, but more like Konoha is as if a bunch of Animal Clans from the Summon Realm that banded together for mutual protection. So if, say, the Rats, Snakes, Toads and Slugs decided to live together out of mutual self interest, you wouldn't necessarily want to openly share the assassination teachings of Vicious just because you were now cooperating with all of them now would you?”

    Worm's eyes went wide and he made a horrified choking sound, though if it was from the idea of sharing the teachings of the First Eldest Rat or the idea of living together and cooperating with some of the Rat's most hated longtime enemies was anybody's guess. Rei cracked a small smile at his reaction, “So now you see why I could have potentially gotten lynched if this had gone horribly wrong, don't you?”

    “Yeah, I get it,” Worm said sullenly, his ears flattening to his head. “I didn't know it was like that. Or that you humans somehow manage to live while being surrounded by untrustworthy and hated enemies, as insane as the idea sounds. I'm so'ry.”

    It wasn't quite like that (mostly) but Rei didn't feel any particular need to correct him. Especially when she had other things on her mind that she wanted to discuss. The time Worm had been gone had not been spent idle. She waved away his apology with a smile and a few platitudes before moving on to what she really wanted to talk about. “Say, I have a question for you,” Rei asked curiously, changing the subject. “There should have been different areas in those clan archives with different levels of security. Did you by any chance notice that?”

    Clan archives, while obviously varying greatly in terms of the security measures implemented, fell into a more or less predictable pattern from what she had gleaned over the years. Her own clan archives followed this same pattern in fact. The archives tended to have at least three different areas with escalating levels of security. There were those intended for civilian/academy student/Genin access, those intended for access by those of Chunnin level or higher, and finally those areas intended for access to those of Jounin level or above. Sometimes there might be different security areas for academy students and Genin, and at other times there might be a higher level security area intended only for Clan Elders, the Clan Head or those given explicit permission by the Clan Head. Her clan in particular had four security areas, one meant for civilians/academy students separate from one intended for Genin.

    Worm blinked at the sudden change of topic but went along with it easily enough. “Sure. It's standard procedure to case the entire building before making any kind of move, you know. I noticed four levels of security. The scroll I took came from the second lowest one.”

    So it seems the Sarutobi clan library is arranged the same way as the Yamanaka one. Rei licked her lips. She couldn't help but feel nervousness in her gut and excitement creeping up her limbs. The next question would be the critical one.

    “Worm, do you think you could break into the highest level security area in the archives without being detected?”

    The Rat seemed to think about it for a few moments before resolutely shaking his head. “Not without there being a serious risk of being detected, no.”

    Rei felt her heart sink. Worm must have seen something on her face though because he was quick to qualify his statement.

    “However that doesn't mean it can't be done. I'm not particularly skilled or specialized in burglary but there are those in the Family that do have such skills. Burglary has a lot of similarities with sabotage which is why we were quickly able to become such good saboteurs during the Long Night, you know. The defenses I saw in there were not even all that great compared to what The Family has had to circumvent when fighting some of the other Animal Clans over the centuries. If you want to steal from these crazy humans, it's just a matter of finding the right Rats for the job.”

    Rei just stared at Worm in amazement for a few long, quiet moments before she let out a joyful bark of laughter. “Damn... hot damn! That... that is amazing. Simply amazing!” she gushed, for once looking and sounding like the twelve year old girl that she was. “Do you... do you have any idea what this means? How come I never knew any of this was possible in the whole three years I've been contracted with The Family?”

    Worm just gave her a queer look. “You're usually pretty smart, but if you really needed it spelled out for you then you're kind of dumb. I know you know that we used to be a clan of thieves before we changed during the Long Night. How could us having the skills of thieves possibly be any kind of surprise to you?”

    Rei sent Worm a mild glare but she was still far too giddy to put any real heat behind it. Besides, she though on reflection, he's not exactly wrong. Rei had been so focused on getting stronger that she hadn't given much thought to what else the Rats might have to offer... or much thought to anything else, really, if she was being honest. Clearly not thinking about or exploring other avenues that might eventually lead her to more power had been a mistake on her part.

    “Worm,” she said to him, and while still feeling giddy there was now also a more serious weight to her tone. “I'm going to need a Rat of the highest skill level in breaking in and out of highly secure locations undetected. Or preferably a team of Rats, if possible. Do you know of anyone who might fit the bill?”

    Worm looked at her skeptically, his tail swishing back and forth behind him thoughtfully. “I don't know. Maybe. I'll have to go back and ask around, see if there are any takers interested in working with you. I guess we can see. Not that many Rats have the high levels skills you're looking for, mind you. Most of us specialize in killing nowadays, not stealing, and not all the skills are as transferable from one to the other as you might think.”

    That sobered Rei up somewhat, but then again, she would have been foolish to assume this would be as simple as summoning a Rat from a name Worm rattled off to her and working out some kind of deal. She nodded at Worm, “All right. Go ahead and return. Let me know when you know something and I'll summon you back.”

    “Hmmm, sure. I don't mind doing this for you. But it would be nice if there was a little something in it for me, you know what I'm saying?” replied Worm, not at all subtle with his leading commentary.

    Rei rolled her eyes. “Fine. A box of milk chocolate bars if you find me someone qualified. Another box if they agree to my mission for them. Happy?”

    “Oh yesss,” Worm said, already subconsciously licking his chops. “Oh yes, that will do nicely. I'll let you know when I have something. Laters.” With that Worm seemed to curl in on himself before disappearing in a puff of smoke, unsummoning himself back to the Summon Realm whense he came.

    Now it was just a waiting game to see if she would be able to execute the plan she had just deviced. It had been a long time since Rei had felt so very excited about something if she was being honest, even as in the back of her mind she remained aware of the darker ramifications and implications of this new power she had discovered. It was a bit harder than usual for her to get back to training after all the excitement of the day. Thankfully, her propensities incurred over years of habitual discipline made sure that she returned to her routine without too much trouble.

    000

    It wasn't until the early evening the next day that Rei felt the tugging at her consciousness that let her know one of The Family was trying to get her attention. After examining the “taste” of the signal Rei determined that it was not Worm who was calling her after all. Curiously she determined that it was Elder Black who was asking to be summoned instead.

    Elder Black was a Rat she very much liked and respected if for no other reason that he had been her first real supporter among The Family back when she had first been trying to win the summoning contract. He'd also never been anything but straightforward and fair in his dealings with her. Rei breathed a sigh of relief that someone was coming to talk to her, not having known how long Worm's mission would take and having not particularly felt like her nerves could handle a prolonged wait for news. Having to sit through a whole day at the academy had been a trial in a way that it had not been for a long time. However the fact that it was Elder Black who wanted to talk to her about her request (because what else could this be about?) piqued her curiosity as well as her worry. Since Elder Black was an elder in the Rat Clan it suggested that for some reason her request for a thief had gotten kicked up the chain of command. Rei had no idea what that could possibly mean and couldn't help but feel a sliver of unease.

    Making her excuses from training with Neji as quickly as she could without being too rude, Rei headed to an isolated training ground that had not been too far away from her current location. Normally Rei would have been paranoid about being monitored outdoors, outside of the warded protections of her own room, but Elder Black had always been perfectly confident that he could make any of their conversations go unobserved. She wouldn't say the two of them were close exactly, but there wasn't a single living Rat that she trusted more than Elder Black.

    Still, better safe than sorry and all that, so when she cut the back of a finger with a blade to summon him she made sure to do it next to a small babbling brook whose sound would make sure their voices would not carry too far.

    One jutsu later and the Rat in question appeared before her in a haze of gray smoke. He was almost exactly like she remembered. Most of his black fur had gone gray around the tips, except for the fur around his muzzle which had gone completely gray from root to stem. One of his ears was half missing and he wore a rather tattered long coat loaded with what seemed to be dozens small charms and trinkets hanging off of it all over. In his gnarled forelimbs he carried a simple dark wood walking stick at least six inches taller than he was. Though Rei still wasn't quite as tall as his five and a half feet, she was gratified to note that she was much taller in relation to him than she had been three years ago.

    “Greetings be to you Summoner,” Elder Black said casually, switching his staff from one hand to the other. “Your training be going quite well, as I've heard Ofuda and others say. Still living up to your boasting, yes?”

    Rei's lips quirked slightly, both amused and slightly annoyed that he seemed to bring up her promise to master their training program exceptionally fast every single time they met. He had never let her forget her vow, even for a moment. Not that that was necessarily a bad thing. Mastering all of that material was one of the prerequisites to the Rats teaching her the secrets of Sage Mode, after all, so there really was no other choice if she eventually wanted to learn that power. Her lips turned up into a cocky smirk before she addressed the old Rat. “I've told you before Elder Black, you will never in your life find another student more motivated and driven than me to excel. It doesn't hurt that I happen to be extremely talented and intelligent as well.”

    Elder Black chuckled lightly at her typical confident boasting before he walked over to a large rock jutting out by the brook and sitting down. Taking the hint Rei found a similar rock directly across from him and sat down, crossing her legs and leaning back on her hands. Elder Black's eyes studied her for a few long minutes, probably judging her on some criteria that she had no way of knowing about, before nodding to himself as if he'd just discovered something profound.

    “Are we secure from eavesdroppers?” Rei asked.

    “We are.”

    They sat in awkward (at least for her) silence for a few minutes more as the Rat's black eyes continued to study her with a certain kind of shrewd cunning lurking behind his eyes.

    “I assume this isn't a just a social visit?” Rei began when she finally began to feel impatient, since it seemed Elder Black wasn't interested in going first. “Something to do with the request I placed with Worm, I take it?”

    Elder Black scrutinized her for another long moment before speaking. “That is correct. I am here to tell you that in your request Eldest Rat saw an opportunity. We are aware that you will soon be a full fledged warrior by the standards of your human military force. Though you still have got a long ways to go with the training that really matters, Eldest Rat decided that this was a good time to implement a plan he's had in the works from the very beginning.”

    Rei raised an eyebrow at this, intrigued yet wary at the same time. “What sort of plan? And how did Eldest Rat hear about my request in the first place? I just sent Worm to see if he could find anyone qualified who was willing to help.”

    “To answer your second question first, pup, Worm be reporting everything you say and do to Eldest Rat every time he be returning to The Factory.” At Rei's surprised look Elder Black laughed, the sound wet and scratchy at the same time. “Did you really not guess? You be Family, yellow-fur, and also you be a unique opportunity that the The Family has never had before. Of course Eldest Rat would want to hear about you, living all the way in another world and being the only link we got to these 'Elemental Nations'.”

    It... made sense really, perfect sense, it's just that it had never occurred to her that the Rats would be reporting on her every move. Strangely it didn't really make her feel threatened, though the idea still made her more than a bit uncomfortable. Whatever else they were she trusted that the Rats for the most part really did have her best interests in mind. If she couldn't even trust her own summons in this world then she might as cut her own throat and save this authoritarian hellhole the trouble of actually doing her in, because if that was the case then she was already well and truly screwed.

    “What about my first question?” asked Rei, deciding not to respond to Elder Black's comments. “What sort of plan does Eldest Rat have in mind and what does it have to do with me getting a Rat with top notch burglary and thieving skills to help me with a little side project?”

    Elder Black seemed to take a moment to gather his thoughts before finally speaking. “We never have had a Summoner before, you understand, so how we deal with you and what aid we give you be completely unprecedented. We've come to understand that you need trusted Rats to call upon if you be needing help in battle or in... anything else, really. As such Eldest Rat has decreed that you should have your own Mischief.”

    “Mischief?”

    Elder Black nodded. “A Mischief, young pup, is a small group of Rats who operate as a unit. In order to protect you as a member of The Family and in order to protect you as an investment of the Rat Clan the Eldest Rat wishes you to have your own small task force of dedicated operatives. Now, their assigned task will be to help you, not to follow your every order... not until you have proven yourself to The Family and to your Mischief, at any rate. You'll also need to recruit the members of your Mischief yourself. Still. Sounds like a pretty good deal, don't it? An early graduation present, if you will.”

    Rei blinked. That... was not what she had been expecting. At all. Not even one percent. Her own group of dedicated Rats to help her in battle or with whatever else she needed? That... that could be invaluable. Absolutely invaluable. But as she looked at Elder Black, and given the general tone and content of his earlier words, Rei couldn't help but think it wouldn't be that easy.

    “That sounds really great,” Rei commented carefully, deliberately nonchalant and noncommittal. “What's the catch?”

    Elder Black grinned, showing his oversized yellow teeth, and Rei suddenly had a terrible feeling about where this might be going.

    “Let us speak plainly, yes? You not be the type to appreciate dressing a rotting corpse in a fine suit, I don't think.”

    He barely waited for Rei to hesitantly nod before continuing.

    “Eldest Rat hates three things above all others: Harm coming to The Family, those who would threaten any member of The Family, and disharmony within The Family. It is the last one that He wishes to resolve. He feels that any kind of bad blood within The Family is destructive and can ultimately lead to our collective downfall if not corrected.”

    What? What the hell was Elder Black talking about? What did disharmony in The Family have to do with her? In reality even after three years as their summoner Rei could only claim to personally know by name less than a dozen Rats. She didn't have any feuds with anyone, unless Eldest Rat somehow wanted her to mediate between Rats that were at odds for some reason. In fact the only “disharmony” she had with any Rat that she could think of would be with that asshole who had tried to kill her after she was already half dead when she had first tried to join The Fam...

    Oh no. Oh FUCK no.

    “You're out of your Kami-damned mind if you think I'm going to accept what I think you're suggesting,” Rei said slowly, a hot warning suddenly thick in her voice.

    “Oh?” said Elder Black, unfazed by her sudden shift in attitude. “My, my. You are a quick one, aren't you? Well, pup, if you be thinking that Eldest Black wants Virulent to be the first member of your Mischief, then I say you be thinking correctly, yes?”

    Virulent, Rei thought with a hateful snarl. She had never forgotten that asshole's name.

    “Eldest Rat expects me to fight side by side with the same asshole who tried to torture me to death when I was already weak and wounded?” Rei demanded, her voice rising as her composure quickly deteriorated. “The same asshole who taunted me about eating my corpse after he was through with me? The one whose fucking stupid fight with me left my body so weak I almost died of an infection so that it took me weeks to return to Konoha, leading me to go through a bunch of shit you can't imagine? The one whose petty wounded pride almost cost The Family a summoner who Eldest Rat had already accepted? That Virulent?”

    Elder Black seemed to sigh, and in that moment Rei remembered that the Rat in front of her had no love for Virulent or for the stunt that he had pulled when she'd been trying to win her contract. At the time Elder Black had even sworn to make the other Rat's life miserable for his actions.

    “Technically he was within his rights, and you were not yet part of The Family. Things are different now. Even an arrogant shit stain like Virulent would not dare to ever harm anyone from The Family. I can guarantee that at the very least you would no longer have to fear for your life around him.”

    “Why?” Rei spat hotly, rising to her feet and her teeth bared in a snarl. “Give me one good reason why I should accept having that piece of shit anywhere near me.” The acid scar that ran from her neck to the back of her knuckles throbbed as she remembered the acid jutsu that Virulent had used to scar her in such a way. “Give me one good reason why I wouldn't be better off shanking him rather than asking him to work with me the next time I see him!”

    Elder Black gave her a very dry, unamused look. “I won't deign to answer your second statement,” he said with a warning, almost threatening drawl. “As for why you should consider accepting him, well... I won't be telling you what you should or should not do. But if you do not include him you will not be allowed to form your own Mischief. Also, it just so happens that Virulent be one of the only Rats that has the skills you be after. As much as I hate to praise that shit stain of a Rat, there is no doubt he is one of the best thieves and saboteurs The Family currently has. Your chances of getting anyone else close to that particular level of expertise to help you if you refuse to do this would be zero... or so close to zero it do not be mattering, anyway.”

    “Oh, you've got to be kidding me,” Rei spat bitterly, impotent anger and frustration welling up inside of her. How typical, that life should dangle something so incredibly appealing in front of her only to tie it down with strings. “Eldest Rat thinks using the carrot and stick approach to get me to work with that piece of shit is suddenly going to make us buddies?” She asked, spreading her arms wide. “Tell me another one!”

    Elder Black for his part didn't look particularly impressed with her outburst. “You got a point there, pup, or is it that you just feel like bitching? The choice is yours. But if you want my advice, swallow your pride and do it. Holdin' a grudge against that piece of shit ain't gonna be hurtin' no one but yourself at this point.”

    Something that Elder Black said seemed to get through Rei's thick cloud of fury and indignation. Realizing she wasn't in any kind of emotional state to make any sort of rational decision, Rei very deliberately forced herself to sit back down. Then she very deliberately bit the inside of her lip, hard, until she tasted blood. The pain gave her something else to focus on until the roaring, tumultuous emotions in her mind calmed down to something more manageable.

    How the hell this Eldest Rat think this was a good idea? And how the hell could he possibly think she could do this? Forgiveness wasn't really something in her vocabulary. Well, it was (sort of), but not for assholes who tried to torture and murder her without any kind of provocation. The though of willingly working with him was so anathema it almost literally made her want to throw up... or else lash out at Virulent with extreme violence, though apparently that second option was off the table for now.

    Then again... then again, not accepting meant possibly losing her Rats as a combat summon... either for a period of time, or possibly for good. It also meant that her plan to use the Rat's thieving skills for her own gain would most likely have to be shelved indefinitely. Then again, a few days ago she had not had either a Mischief of Rats or a possible superthief as an option and she had still felt like she'd been more or less on track to her goal of becoming an S-Rank ninja. The loss of those two possible options in the short term would hurt, but were they really necessary? She doubted that lacking either of those two things would ultimately prevent her from reaching her goal.

    For her, there was not an easy answer.

    In the end, the decision was still incredibly difficult... but over the years of hard training that Rei had endured she had come to know who she was, she had come to further understand who she had become. In the end what made up her mind was something surprisingly abstract for her as opposed to practical. Rei decided that would stay true to herself. In the end the resolution to do that made her decision surprisingly simple.

    “Well?” asked Elder Black when he sensed that something had changed. “What you be going to do?”

    Rei raised her gaze to meet his, passion and determination seeming to burn impossibly bright behind her hard amethyst eyes, and she told him her decision.

    000
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
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  12. Blazinghand

    Blazinghand Abyss Gazer

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    This will test Rei more than many challenges she has faced so far, if she accepts.
     
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  13. wigg55

    wigg55 Know what you're doing yet?

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    This can only end well, no chance for escalation at all.

    Whats the status on the Uchiha massacre, it has happened right? Otherwise that's the prime target, get scrolls of em and then they very conveniently go away.
     
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  14. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    I wonder if her learning to accept and befriend people she loathes, that dislike her, would be one of the first steps into becoming stable again. That it might be something that'll teach her to respect Sarutobi.

    Also, I'm loving the work you're doing writing this mythology of rats. The only decent write ups I've seen of them in the past have been about the Skaven, in Inglorious Bastards, Forgotten Realms, and here. I'm going to steal a bit of this for a future Were-Rat clan character if 5e ever brings the Hengeyokai back.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
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  15. Fonteius

    Fonteius [Empty Title]

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    Thanks for the chapter.

    This is a nice way to introduce some more Rats, maybe even younger ones, to the story, with how paranoid (with much reason) Rei is behaving she could use a few trusted companions.

    Now, with Virulent, I don't see them getting along for atleast a few years (if ever), but I can see Rei and Virulent atleast try to stay civil with each other, the only thing I think can move that partnership is a fight to the death for both of them against an stronger foe, I do like the drama that will begin from this, mostly because it will be a challenge that Rei (and Virulent) can grow from, I suppose that as the first member of Rei's Mischief he will be the second in command in most cases, and Rei need to learn more about the Rats interactions between family, friendly or not they kind of trust each other unconditionally (until said trust is broken), even if they do not respect other members they seem to respect their skills atleast.

    I would love to see Elder Black or Eldest Rat issue a "mission" from her with her Mischief some times if only to make their relationship more dynamic, for now on they see her as a pup that needs training but at some point she will gain better skills and become able to perform tasks for the entire family, even if it is intelligence gathering on other summoners, after all I don't see any other clan liking the Rats, and if Anko, the Hokage or Jiraiya finally think about asking about them from their summons things are going to get ugly for Rei.

    This leads to the problem in this chapter, Rei does need to explain some more how Konoha works based on herself, after all for most Shinobi Konoha is family, but for her only her immediate family (parents-sister) and very few individuals are at most "friends", she does not trust anyone in Konoha to not reveal her secrets, her ambition, or anything really and for the Rats that means that no one is her "family" in Konoha, we don't know about Hinata yet but I hope to see a little more trust for her compared to her parents and Ino.

    Last thing, from how the story is going I suspect that the entire Chunin arc (if you timeskip some of her Genin career between important missions) is going to be a lot more sinister and blody than canon, not just because Rei's summons, mostly because the way Rei is becoming towards Konoha shinobi, how would she treat other villages?, there are a lot of characters in the Chunin arc that killed a lot of teams, and tried to go for the kill against Konoha nin from the get go, now, in the anime and manga the 12 MC went all non lethal and mostly did fine, but Rei?, if someone goes for the kill I can totally see her training taking control and with the Rats as her only anchor and trusted exmple its not going to end well for her mind and for her opponents, if the way she fought against Anko is her bloodthirsty mode, it will become scary really fast if someone truly tries to kill her.
     
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  16. Emiya Pendragon

    Emiya Pendragon The Boundary

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    No don't you dare accept it.
     
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  17. Yuki

    Yuki I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    It had, Rei is currently 11 or 12 I think and she is only a year older than ino. She also got interrogate pretty badly and make her wanna run away more because she does the summoning contract and disappears during the massacre if I remember correctly
     
  18. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    Hells bells, I wonder if this is also about Elder Rat trying to make Konoha into a Family, after Worms report.
     
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  19. SixPerfections

    SixPerfections Know what you're doing yet?

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    Yeah, I think having to play nice with someone who from your POV legit tried to kill you for shits and giggles would be a hard for anyone to navigate properly, let alone a girl-somewhatwoman thing who is already emotionally... shall we say, less than stable?

    Then again this is a strange situation any way you want to cut it. The only real saving grace if she accepts is that neither of them can really attack the other anymore. Or rather there is a large enough stick to keep them from trying to kill each other. Probably.


    Escalation? Possibly :D

    The massacre did already happen, yes. You are correct that the Uchiha would be a relatively easy target all things considered. You'll just have to wait and see.

    Respect Sarutobi? Hmm that is a though sell. Rei fears and resents him, and sees him as a symbol of everything that is wrong with Konoha. She'd have to go through a LOT of character development to feel anything other than fear and loathing for the man for the time being.

    As for the Rats, thanks :). I'd be flattered if you used my mythology as any sort of inspiration. I wanted to make them more than just 'cute animal companions' that were only occasionally useful, like the toads were for Naruto. That meant giving them motivations, a history, a culture, etc. They seem a popular part of this story and I'm glad that people like them. They definitely continue to play an important role in Rei's life and in her development throughout the story, both as a person and as a ninja.

    You know, I'm kind of glad someone brought this up even if the Chunnin exam is pretty far away story-wise at this point. I just wanted to say that for potentially lethal war games and especially for a full out military invasion by an enemy who supposedly didn't care about civilian casualties, the Chunnin exam invasion was surprisingly tame. I've had a lot of ideas about how an enemy determined to cause maximum damage to Konoha would have gone about the invasion very differently. So yes, my version of the Chunnin exams will be more bloody. As for Rei in the forest of death? Well, not to give too many spoilers but the majority of Genin in the exam will be hilariously easy for her to defeat. I mean, when you go back and watch that arc over, a lot of the teams in Forest of Death were kind of sad and pathetic. Unless something goes wrong it might be unlikely that Rei would feel pressured enough by the contestants to completely loose her shit.

    Of course there is a lot more running around out there than just regular contestants, too.

    I'm curious, why would hold this opinion? Not judging one way or the other.
     
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  20. RichardWhereat

    RichardWhereat Aia airëa Fëanáro.

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    Well she also fears and resents Virulent from the sounds of it. It'll take a lot of time and character development to accept him too. Though, unless it happens before his death at the Chuunin arc, it's likely not going to happen.

    Aye, honestly I've loved your Rats since I first saw them. That intro when she summoned herself to the Rats the first time was cool.
     
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  21. Argentorum

    Argentorum Free Cat

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    As much as it would be healthier for Rei to pass on this for the time being (she hardly needs another toxic presence in her life) I just...can’t possibly see her turning this down. Her desire for Jutsu is reaching parity with Orochimaru’s, and now the key to all that power was handed to her. Yeah, even with her recent character growth there’s almost no way she’s turning this down.

    In other news, minimal Hyuga presence this chapter. Return to standby mode.
     
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  22. Emiya Pendragon

    Emiya Pendragon The Boundary

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    One, because it doesn't make any sense to trust someone who once tried to kill you with your back. Trust is something that takes time to earn Its not something that can be easily given, even more so for someone like Rei Yamanaka(Ayanami XD).

    Two, because she loves being in control from what I can understand, and fears loss of control over her situation, so her accepting this would be totally out of her character.

    Three, she is a human being and we all have something called pride even in the smallest amounts, everyone Shirou Emiya has a good amount of pride, and even that guy is proud of his cooking.

    And Four Just no seriously no.
     
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  23. roseknight

    roseknight Getting out there.

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    She also really wants power. I dont think putting up with Virulent is the line she would not be willing to cross for more power.
     
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  24. Emiya Pendragon

    Emiya Pendragon The Boundary

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    She may really want power but she is not stupid..
     
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  25. Grigori

    Grigori Not too sore, are you?

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    Think that should be Eldest Rat

    Loved the update, beautifully intense! My main issue with Virulent heading the Mischief is that they don't actually answer to her and it'd be a difficult enough situation without their leader being seen as violent and irrational. Even accepting Rats not going after their own, I'd struggle to believe he wouldn't act in ways that conflict her wishes.

    Loving the Rat lore though and looking forward to seeing more!
     
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  26. cezyou

    cezyou Know what you're doing yet?

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    Narratively there's just about a 0% chance she actually turns it down. Otherwise there's little point in bringing Mischiefs up in the story—eventually Rei will take the offer. This is also part of her Rat training. Even if the next chapter starts with no, there's no way she's a proper Rat without ever being part of a Mischief working alongside a Family member she's not fond of.
    Is this a speech affectation of Worm's like Black's bes? A glottal stop in the middle of the word? A mere typo (despite ' and r being very far from each other)?
    well that's the point rei, eldest rat wants one single family and not a set of families working together
     
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  27. Meneldur

    Meneldur Yield All

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    Very interesting. I almost had the same reaction as Argentorum, actually, because I love for Rei/Hinata interactions, but then something came to me...

    I find it very hard to predict what Rei would choose here. Indeed, that is the same reason she's deliberating about it so much - it really is a conflict of character and values for her. Her pride, her anger, her grudge, versus her need for power. It's a hard question. I would prefer she agree and take Virulent on as the first member of her Mischief, though, and I'll explain why:
    Rei had a big problem. She's not emotionally stable, and she has an emotional connection to very few people. Ino, Neji, Hinata, maybe her father and Tenten. Out of those, I doubt she trusts any of them completely other than Hinata. Maybe Ino, but she's a little girl who can easily spill Rei's secrets. Neji has the Caged Bird Seal, and we already saw how Rei can't fully reveal her desires to him. Inoichi is the head of the Yamanaka and his first duty is to them, as well as probably being very loyal to the village (though possibly less so after what happened to Rei). We don't know enough about Tenten to tell. Hinata... probably yes, especially after the whole choking thing... but at the same time, Hinata is also a little girl (if less so than Ino because of her responsibilities), and is greatly influenced by her father. So, in the Elemental Nations, Rei has no one she can fully trust with all her secrets.
    The Rats change that. The Rats are her Clan - she's part of them. The only thing the Rats may put above her are the interests of the Clan, but since Rei is part of that, that means very little. If Rei went ahead and told them all her plans now, they'd probably only critique them in order to improve them. Rei having a group of 'people' (her Mischief) that she can trust absolutely with her might help her a lot in terms of calming down and developing meaningful relationships.
    Of course, like all things Rei, it will probably spiral into destruction before it improves, and the presence of Virulent virtually assures that. Still, that is also precisely what may develop Rei's character. If, in the end, she manages to forgive Virulent and form a meaningful relationship with him... well, I won't say she'd be able to forgive Sarutobi, but certianly I'd expect she'd have better emotional control and healthier emotional inclinations and outlets.
     
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  28. chrnno

    chrnno Time Traveller

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    The problem with long-term is that you have to get there for it to exist, Rei is so unstable that having to continuously interact with Virulent is an horrible idea. Sure if it doesn't crash and burn it might be an improvement on the current state of things but the odds of that...

    And really considering how busy she is not adding such a massive undertaking is likely for the best too.
     
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  29. Vajra

    Vajra Getting sticky.

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    Hard not to trust someone who after you choke the shit out of them goes all "Hey, no prob! I mean if it makes you feel better you can do it again as many times as you want."
     
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  30. GLH

    GLH Really?

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    Honestly, she should steal all the Kage hats and robes at some point once she's into the whole stealing groove. :p

    Then later on she can make some Shadow clones, put the Kage outfits on them, and then do a silly song and dance. ;) :D :p


    More seriously though, did you know that real life rodents sing like songbirds? Granted, they sing too high pitched for humans to hear, but yeah, they sing. Hopefully Rei isn't foolish enough to introduce them to the lyrics of Biggie Cheese. :p
     
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